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  Geography (NTSE/Olympiad)  

2. Natural Vegetation & Wild Life

Introduction to Natural Vegetation & Wild Life

Our country is one of the twelve mega bio diversity countries of the world. With about 47,000 plant species India occupies tenth place in the world and fourth in Asia in plant diversity. There are 15000 flowering plant in India which about 6 % in the world’s total number of flowering plant. India also has 89000 species of animals as well as rich variety of fish in its fresh and marine waters.
Virgin Vegetation : Natural vegetion refers to a plant community which has grown naturally without human aid and has been left undisturbed by humans for a long time. This is termed as virgin vegetation.
Flora : The term flora is used to denote plants of a particular region or period.
Fauna : The species of animals are referred to as fauna.
The huge diversity in flora and fauna kingdom is due to the following reasons.
Land : Land affects the natural vegetation directly and indirectly. The fertile level is generally devoted to agriculture. The undulating and rough terrains are areas where grass land and wood lands develop and give shelter to a variety of wild life.
Soil : It is one of the most important factor of affecting vegetation. Different types of soil have different vegetation changes in soil conditions have given rise to peculiar type of vegetation in many areas such as mangrove forests, swamp and sandy coastal forest.
Temperature : Temperature and humidity are the important factors which determines the character and extent of vegetation. On the slope of the Himalayas and hills of the Peninsula above the height of 900 metres, the fall in temperature affects the type of vegetation and its growth, and changes it from tropical to subtropical temperate and alpine.
Sunlight : The variation in sun’s radiant energy at different places is due to difference in latitude, altitude, season and duration of the day. Due to the abundance of sunlight, trees grow faster in summer.
Precipitation : It determines the density of vegetation. Areas of heavy rainfall have more dense vegetation as compared to other areas.

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